Monday, January 6, 2014

Making Safe Chewies

When people think of a safe chewy they think of pre-made ones.  Did you know you can make your own at home?? Yep, homemade chewies are my and Ruby’s favorite!! What can you make for a chewy you ask?  Sweet Potato Chews are one of the easiest, healthiest and tastiest chewies you can make.  Mama usually makes a BIG batch around Thanksgiving cause that’s when you can find a good deal on sweet potatoes and yams. 
There are a couple different types: white or orange sweet potatoes or yams.  We only know of the orange yams.  In our house we use all 3.  You are probably thinking “Oh I saw this on another blog”, yes that may be true but I’m going to give you some new ideas.
Most people do a light bake of their sweet potatoes/yams before slicing them and dehydrating them….what the woof.  By doing this your pup isn’t getting all of the nutrients and mama said they don’t dry out as well.
White Sweet Potatoes are (according to mama) easier to slice and we do Stack Sticks mostly out of those.  What are Stack Sticks?? It is when you half the potato length wise and then half it into a smaller chunk, then cut it into thick slices about an inch thick.
Orange Sweet Potatoes are a little sweeter.  Mama cuts the potato so it’s more box looking then starts slicing it into about 1” x 1” inch squares about 1” thick so more like cubes.  She does this so they will fit into some of our toys.
Yams are bigger (the ones we get) and A LOT harder for mama to cut so she uses a meat slicer and cuts them into almost 2” rounds. Sometimes she uses a core and cuts a hole in the middle and sometimes not.
So Instructions:
  • Choose you potato/yam
  • Peel it (we wash then peel then wash again).
  • Slice it into your desired thickness (I recommend no thinner than 1” but 2” to 3” will give you a longer lasting chewy)
  • Place on dehydrator trays and set temp. at 160 (you can do lower but will take a lot longer)
  • Let run for 14 hours.  This will really dry it out.
So here are some ideas to make these chews funnier.
  1. After slicing you can submerge them into broth and let sit in the frig for 8 to 12 hours, then dehydrate them.  Mama will take the juice from a ham and make me some (Ruby can have the plain) or you can use pineapple or apple juice.
  2. Mama has done some with olive oil and cinnamon. All you do is drizzle extra virgin olive oil on and do a light dusting of cinnamon.  Mama said if you do them thin you can make human sweet potato chips……You pup might not like sharing though.
  3. The funniest one is what mama does with the one with holes.  You can take a rope (mama uses hemp) and thread several on and knot both ends.  You pup with have a toy and chew all in one.
These aren’t just for pups, oh no.  Mama originally would do the squares and sticks for her rabbits.  She would make a hole big enough for a string to go through and then make hanging treat/chewies for them loaded with dried berries, dried apples and carrots and these chewies.  They were safe, healthy and fun.

So next time your at the store pick some up and give it a try.
Chewies in the dehydrator

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